The United States has assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August and will focus on two of the Biden Administration’s top foreign policy priorities: combating food insecurity and defending human rights.
“We know without a shadow of a doubt it is within our power to feed the word and end famine,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield said at the start of the U.S. tenure:
“But to do so, we must root out conflict-induced food insecurity. Around the world, hostilities breed hunger, fighting breeds famine, and we see this in places like Yemen and Sudan and Syria and elsewhere, and of course, in Ukraine, where President Putin’s forces have weaponized food. Russia has launched a full-scale assault on the world’s breadbasket, and it is dead-set on depriving the world of Ukraine’s grains. … Conflict-induced hunger is a pressing matter of international peace and security, and the Council must take action.”
Over the month, led by the United States, the Security Council will look at ways UN Member States, civil society, and the private sector can strengthen, coordinate, evaluate food security initiatives and eliminate famine. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield called the issue of food insecurity “deeply personal,” since addressing the issue has motivated her work throughout her career. Galvanizing partners on the problem of food insecurity is necessary to solving it.
Another top priority for the United States is elevating human rights at every opportunity. One way will be by including civil society briefers in the Council’s meetings.
“We must continue to give voices to the voiceless; we must continue to tell the stories of those who are not free, and that will be done in the Council during our month,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
Additionally, during August, the United States will preside over briefings and consultations on a range of issues relevant to international peace and security, including regularly scheduled meetings on ISIL, Lebanon, Libya, the Middle East, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and Mali.
“There is no doubt the challenges before us will be great,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, “but if we come together we can take on the issues of our time.”